Aurignacian Period


The Aurignacian period (40,000 to 28,000 years ago) is an Upper Paleolithic stone tool tradition, usually considered associated with both Homo sapiens and Neanderthals throughout Europe and parts of Africa. The Aurignacian's big leap forward is the production of blade tools by flaking pieces of stone off a larger piece of stone, thought to be an indication of more refined tool making.

Some Recent Studies

Balter, Michael 2006 First Jewelry? Old Shell Beads Suggest Early Use of Symbols. Science 312(1731).

Higham, Tom, et al. 2006 Revised direct radiocarbon dating of the Vindija G1 Upper Paleolithic Neandertals. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 10(1073):1-5 (early edition).

Bar-Yosef, Ofer. 2002. Defining the Aurignacian. pp 11-18 in Towards a Definition of the Aurignacian, edited by Ofer Bar-Yosef and João Zilhão. Lisbon: Portuguese Institute of Archaeology.

Straus, Lawrence G. 2005 The Upper Paleolithic of Cantabrian Spain. Evolutionary Anthropology 14(4):145-158.

Street, Martin, Thomas Terberger, and J&oumlrg Orschiedt 2006 A critical review of the German Paleolithic hominin record. Journal of Human Evolution 51:551-579.

Verpoorte, A. 2005 The first modern humans in Europe? A closer look at the dating evidence from the Swabian Jura (Germany). Antiquity 79(304):269-279.

This glossary entry is part of the Dictionary of Archaeology.

Examples: St. Césaire (France), Chauvet Cave (France), L'Arbreda Cave (Spain)

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Hirst, K. Kris. "Aurignacian Period." ThoughtCo, Jan. 28, 2020, Hirst, K. Kris. (2020, January 28). Aurignacian Period. Retrieved from Hirst, K. Kris. "Aurignacian Period." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 20, 2023).